Monday, February 8, 2016

Predictions about Skill Injectors (and why I'm fine with the pricing)

CCP released the initial pricing on skill extractors, then updated the prices slightly presumably in response to (negative) player feedback. I am happy they rounded out the price; and while I think the extractors would sell better if slightly cheaper, overall the prices are what I predicted and, frankly, in the range I think is reasonable for a pure item of convince that, if made too cheap or without diminishing returns, could threaten to ruin or cheapen one of the most fundamental and delicate systems in EVE. I particularly like that you can buy the extractors directly with cash, meaning no need to deal with PLEX to Aurum conversions that many players were frustrated with. CCP is also including extractors in subscription renewals for 3 months or longer. If my accounts were up for re-subbing I would definitely get the 6 month or 1 year renewal in light of the included extractors.

The ability to directly buy extractors and the fact that CCP added extractors to renewing a subscription (in addition to a small PLEX sale) will likely significantly dampen the rise in PLEX costs. I was expecting a massive spike in PLEX prices and demand starting February 9th, and while the isk cost does continue to climb, my guess would be PLEX will not go above 1.5b until the Citadel expansion, assuming the expansion is a major success. But, that's just my largely unfounded guess. It could be wrong, who knows.

I am still going ahead with my plan to use roughly 15+ extractors across all of my characters, and send that diminished SP all to long skills I would like on Sven, such as Drone Durability V and other 20+ day trains. Impatience might get the best of me and I may train skills on an alt just to get more skills, faster; we'll see! Many older players I've heard from have at least some plans for redistrubting skills on their characters, and some like JonnyPew are even planning to use over a hundred extractors. Skill trading is a completely optional system, but everyone can benefit from it in some way, and as a result I think occasionally using skill injectors will become almost as common as training a month of skills on an alt or getting a set of +5 implants. For instance, say CCP introduces new skills coming out in the next expansion. Stocking up on injectors would be a great way to get those skills to V on patch day.

Some new players I've heard from also plan to use just one or two extractors. Receiving or re-distributing 400-500k skill points is a significant change when you are new, with only sub-10m skill points. It is the difference between being able to do PI or not at all, flying a tech 2 ship, using a tech 2 weapon type, and so on.

The real impact of skill trading I am interested in is not just PLEX prices, it is also the total skill points across characters in EVE. Because the skill points still have to be trained at a fixed speed, we will likely see a noticeable decline in the average SP of characters in EVE. Many alts are going to be gutted down to 5m SP and many main characters are going to increase by 1-10m, but the diminishing returns will lower the overall SP of the playerbase. I think a 2-5% drop in average SP could be expected to result from skill gutting.

For my final prediction, the first injector loss will likely happen within an hour of the patch going live. Someone, I am confident, will throw an injector in an alt and blow the ship up, just to be the first player to destroy the new item. Heck, I would do it if I could get up that early!

Players often say that CCP doesn't listen, but that does not generally seem true. They revise plans, if ever so slightly, all of the time. Maybe they do not do exactly what many players want (some players were calling for extractors to be free, for instance) and maybe they do not always respond quickly (they do not have a lot of free dev time, after all), but they are by no means as bad as most gaming companies. So overall, I think they did an okay job with skill trading, and I'm excited for the new feature.

No comments:

Post a Comment